Forensic Odontology Essay

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Forensic odontology is that branch of forensic medicine which in the interests of justice, deals with the proper examination, handling and presentation of dental evidence in the court of law. This branch is an investigative aspect of dentistry that analyzes dental evidence for human identification. (1) Sex determination is imperative in determining the biological profile of a person by a forensic investigator and becomes the first priority in the process of identification in the cases of natural disasters, mishaps, crime investigations, chemical and nuclear bomb explosions, and ethnic studies. Forensic odontologists can assist other experts in determining sex of the remains by using information of the dental and skeletal remains. However, identification using skeletal remains presents a dilemma for forensic experts especially when only fragments of the body are recovered and the identification is hindered by standard methods. (2, 3)
Teeth being the fundamental component of the masticatory apparatus of the skull are very resistant to post-mortem destruction and fragmentation in comparison to other hard tissues of the human body and are therefore crucial for civil and medico-legal identification. In
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In general, the mesiodistal (MD) and buccolingual (BL) measurements of teeth are used in sex determination studies. Many studies have established that amongst all the teeth, the permanent mandibular canines are found to exhibit the greatest sexual dimorphism between the sexes. Mesio-distal diameter of mandibular and maxillary canines provides evidence of sex determination due to dimorphism. Canines being the least frequently extracted teeth, being less affected by periodontal disease are hugely beneficial to the forensic investigator for the dual purpose of investigation as well as identification. (6,

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